Still the Big One
As always, there were huge numbers attending JavaOne, and as usual, there were 'official' claims that were difficult to verify. There were 188 sessions scheduled, making it possible to only attend a very small selection of topics. Sun pushed NetBeans very hard at the show. The pre The pavilion section was still huge, but not as big as a few years ago, with the exhibition hall closed off with barriers on 3 sides so the show did not look to empty.
The Brazillians have Arrived
There was a good sized group of attendees from Brazil this year for the first time. It has been known for some time that the Brazilian government has made a strategic decision to embrace Java technology (hardly the first goverment to seek to protect itself against Microsoft, but at least they have done it in a positive way). The huge video screen at the bottom of the main escalator showed a video about the using Java in the Brazilian healthcare system. Turns out, Java is good for your health (system).
Microchips, Lousy Free Lunches, Bags, and WiFi
The bags handed out at registration were very high quality. The WiFi coverage was very patchy in the Moscone (although there were a few rows of computers in the pavilion). The daily lunches were terrible and I never actually touched any of them - which is pretty bad for a conference that costs a couple of thosand dollars to attend. The online registration system for sessions did not work (in theory, you pre-registered for sessions and used the micochip-based ID card to gain access, but in practice the system did not work very well and a line formed outside many sessions).
Google and Microsoft: Booth Buddies
Both Google and Miicrosoft had booths at JavaOne - right beside each other! Google did launch a Web Toolkit at the show, but really seems mostly interested in recruitment. Microsoft seemed to be mostly promoting the XBox, which was a clever decision given the company they were keeping.
There's a very large Apple store in downtown San Francisco that seemed to be crowded all the time. I tried a out a MacBook (Intel-based Mac) for the first time. It was amazing. My next laptop will be a dual boot, where I'll only use Windows when I've no choice.
Open Sourcing Java
Athough I was not there to see it, it has been widely reported that Rich Green, EVP, Sun Software said in response to the usual pestering about open sourcing Java "It's not a question of whether, it's a question of how." Open sourcing may help with bug fixes and with innovation, but there's a huge danger of Java becoming like Linux, where you need to be very specific about exactly which version of Linux you are using. So the 'how' question is actually one that might be very difficult to answer.
Three or four years ago, there was a lot of hype about Java on mobile phones and there was a large number of mobile-technology related vendors at the JavaOne pavillion. There was still a few mobile technology vendors this year. But that is not an indication of a decline. In fact, the hype was true and Java has really gone mobile. Ed Zander of Motorola said his company was shipping over 200 million Java-enabled mobile phones this year and the industry would ship nearly one billion.
Finally, AJAX was Hot
One of my objectives at the show was to learn about AJAX and to visit all the vendors to find the best AJAX products avaialble (hint: look up JackBe). I plan to write more about this later....